Surprise, surprise! Papa The Great has been released. With Krishan Kumar
busy fixing things that he knows nothing about, one believed that his latest
- and hopefully last - venture would never see the light of the day. It's not
one of those pleasant surprises, though, and this fiasco is something that Kumar
won't be able to 'fix' for his life.
Everyone involved with this movie appears to have been raised from the dead
- with the honorable exception of Gulshan Kumar. Nagma and the director, K Bhagyaraj,
were thought to have moved on to other things and places - nobody knows which
ones. The kind of product that PTG is, they are bound to go back to whatever
they were doing.
The premise for the story actually had some potential, but the way that it has
been handled and enacted, finding it would be next to impossible. Jai Prakash
(Krishan Kumar), an engineer, is a coward who camouflages the fact by bragging
about his fictitious heroics to his son (Master Bobby). This he does to prevent
his son from becoming like him. Jai's cowardice has its genesis in the murder
of his father by a gangster. His wife (Nagma) goes through a lot of pain in
putting up with his phobias.
But, as the saying goes, too much is too bad. Jai meets his nemesis in the form
of the same gangster Raka (Satya Prakash) who killed his father (this fact is
never touched upon, perhaps because the guy looks as young as he was those many
years ago). After a lot of hide and seek, and some able support from a Bihari
Babu (Shatrughan Sinha), Jai conquers his timidity.
At two and a half hours, sitting through the movie is an onerous task. At one
point, just as it appears that we have reached the end, Sinha proclaims,"Bihari
Babu ki jaan itni aasani se nahi jaa sakat hai." That is enough for
you to either pull you hair out or leave the theater.
The whole affair is so preposterous - heads rotating, bouncing and springing
- that you might be deluded into believing that you are watching a cartoon.
Actually, it's much more childish than that. Most of the gags are such that
we end up laughing, not at the happenings, but at the guys who conceived them.
Krishan Kumar's painstaking effort in delivering his dialogues, as at emoting,
is so obvious that more than him, we are grateful that we won't be seeing him
again. Towards the end, the audience becomes so accustomed to his pussy ways
that when he actually takes on the goons, he brings the house down in disbelief.
Of the cast, only Master Bobby seemed to have any illusions of the movie's success.
Only that can account for his overflowing enthusiasm. Shatru is jarring in the
extreme. Nagma exudes a lot of ineffectual charm. Both she and K Bhagyaraj would
be well served back south.
Talking about Bhagyaraj, what made him do this film?
Has he run out of admirers that he latched on to a banner that is known to deliver
duds? Whatever it is, he better hope that his fans don't take this to be the
beginning of an irreversible slide.
All said and done, PTG isn't a movie that you would be proud telling
your dad of having watched. For all you know, your movie allowance could